📌UGANDA’S PLAN FOR PHASED RE-OPENING OF EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
✳ Schools & Institutions of higher learning re-open for candidates & finalists October 15
✳ Assessment of progress after a month
✳ No mass testing before school starts
✳ Restart in TERM 2 with a revised education calendar
✳ Term 2 from October 15 2020 to December 18
✳ Term 3 from January 11 2021, to April 30, 2021
✳ Schools to be either day, or boarding. Not both.
✳ Two free face masks for every candidate & final year student – public & private schools
✳ SOPs Guidelines for teachers to be released this week
✳ All schools to be inspected for SOPs readiness
✳ Registration of UNEB exams start October 22
✳ UCE exams March 1 to April 6
✳ PLE March 30th and 31
✳ UACE April 12 to May 3
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDNET | There will be no mass COVID-19 testing for an estimated 1.2 million children before they report back to school on October 15. Focus will instead be on dealing with cases when they emerge, First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni has confirmed.
In an interview on Wednesday aired by Vision Group, Janet Museveni said it would not be feasible to mass test until the Ministry of Health has the capacity to continuously test everyone every fortnight.
“The Ministry of Health (MOH) has informed us that Uganda like most other countries does not have the capacity to mass test for COVID-19. As you are aware, Uganda is currently conducting only 2,500 tests daily, and it is therefore not feasible to test 1.2 million children before they report back to school,” she said.
The Minister added that, “Even if they did mass test, it would not be meaningful. Ideally, the test should be done every two weeks, so even if they tested this once, it does not mean the children will remain negative all the time. If we cannot maintain the testing while they are at school, the one test would not be meaningful. ”
She then outlined how cases would be handled when they are detected, saying the biggest responsibility would be with the District Covid-19 task forces. (See full guidelines on Page 2)
“We have task forces across the country and in our guidelines developed together with the Ministry of Health, the schools will work with district task forces to manage daily cases – identify, isolate, and take over case management. The teams will assess the situation, and work with the school management on a decision and best way to manage the situation,” she said.
The Minister of Education also confirmed there would be no ‘dead year’, and that students are returning to term two, with term three spilling into next year. Students in their final year in higher institutes of learning will also resume studies, while their colleagues will learn online until a decision is taken on way forward.
With a new schools calendar out this week, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) is also set for exams, with the the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and Primary Leaving Exams (PLE) set for March, and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UCE) set for April, 2021.
“We are not considering the possibility of a dead year for the rest of the learners. It will clog the system. We think that they will still come from home, and the work they have done from home, will be sufficient for an assessment,” she said.
She stressed that Ministry guidelines are schools should either be a day, or boarding. No school will be both, and students from neighboring countries will only be allowed to return at a later stage.
“They would have to be put into quarantine before they can be allowed to go to school. For now, we are advising the borders should not allow students to be come in.”
Janet Museveni revealed that an assessment will be made after a month to determine how well the institutions are implementing the SOPS to make a decision on when the children in the continuing classes can resume.
She said schools will work with a revised calendar that will be shared this week. Second term will run from October 15 to December while Term 3 will run from January 2021 to April 2021. There will be term two holidays between December 20, 2020 and January 10, 2021
The First Lady also stressed that the enhanced home schooling scheme that the Education Ministry is pushing on radio, TV and through the newspapers should enable learners in the other classes to be assessed and move to the next class.